On 14 September 2008, a Cessna Aircraft Co. U206A aircraft, registered VH-JDQ, with a pilot and two passengers on board, was on a private flight under the visual flight rules (VFR) from Bankstown, NSW to Archerfield, Qld with a planned stop at Scone, NSW. The aircraft was reported missing when it did not arrive at Archerfield as expected later that day.
Australian Search and Rescue were notified and, during the subsequent search, the wreckage of the aircraft was located the following day on top of a 3,800 ft ridge in rugged terrain, approximately 56 km (30 NM) north-north-east of Scone Airport. All three occupants were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed.
The weather in the area at the time of the occurrence was not suitable for VFR flight and included low cloud, rain showers and high winds. Inspection of the accident site indicated that the aircraft was tracking towards Scone prior to impact with terrain.
The circumstances of this occurrence were consistent with controlled flight into terrain, probably as a result of the pilot encountering instrument meteorological conditions as he attempted to return to Scone.
Response to Inquest Findings
NSW Deputy State Coroner MacMahon recently handed down findings into a 2008 fatal Cessna U206A aircraft accident 56 km north north-east of Scone Airport.
The Coroner accepted the findings of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in relation to how the accident occurred and made findings substantially in accordance with those of the ATSB.
The safety factors identified in the ATRSB report and the Coroner’s findings highlight the risks to for VFR pilots encountering IMC, the important of flight planning and obtaining sufficient information as to prevailing weather conditions for VFR pilots.
ATSB Investigations and Coronial Inquiries
Inquests are separate to ATSB investigations. In this matter the respective authorities largely agree on what the safety issues are that the industry needs to take account of.
The ATSB's report can be downloaded by clicking on the link: AO-2008-063 Feedback can be provided via the website.
The Coroner's report can be obtained from the Coroner's Court of New South Wales. Contact details are available at: www.coroners.lawlink.nsw.gov.au Queries regarding the Coroner's findings should be directed to the Coroner's Court of New South Wales.
|Date:||14 September 2008||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1015 EST||Investigation level:||Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Tamworth Airport SE M/69km|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||CFIT|
|Release date:||31 July 2009||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Cessna Aircraft Company|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Scone, NSW|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|